Pat Spillane predicts the winners and losers from Sunday’s final Allianz League games
It’s a massive game for the two counties and ought to be live on television. Instead, it will be lucky to get 90 seconds on the RTE highlights programme today
The GAA missed a golden opportunity to turn today’s last round of the Allianz Football League into a so-called ‘Super Weekend,’ the kind loved and sold so well by Sky Sports.
The Division 4 programme of games could have been played early yesterday afternoon followed by the Division 3 schedule, with the same happening this afternoon with Division 1 and 2.
Instead everything is crammed into this afternoon – and the weaker counties miss out again.
Take Leitrim v Sligo in Carrick-on-Shannon.
It’s a massive game for the two counties and ought to be live on television. Instead, it will be lucky to get 90 seconds on the RTE highlights programme today.
Here are my predictions:
Mayo are in the final and they will be joined by Galway if they draw at home against Kerry. Kerry, Roscommon and Tyrone could all qualify for the final if they win.
But, technically, one of them could be relegated as well.
Prediction: Division 1 final – Mayo v Kerry. Relegated – Donegal and Monaghan
The winner of the Dublin v Louth tie will be promoted along with Derry. ( A draw will do the Dubs).Clare and Limerick are already relegated.
The outcome of the Kildare and Meath game is significant.
The losers will finish sixth in the table.
This mean they could miss out on playing for the Sam Maguire if a county which played in Division 3 or 4 reaches the Leinster, Ulster or Munster finals and they don’t reach the provincial final. (Yes, I know it’s complicated).
Prediction: Dublin to return to the top flight and take on Derry in the Division 2 final. Division 3 Cavan are promoted while Longford and Tipperary are relegated. A draw against Cavan will be enough to secure Fermanagh promotion. If they lose, the outcome of the Offaly v Down game will determine their fate.
If Down win, Fermanagh will be promoted because of their head-to-head win over the Mourne county. But if Offaly win the Faithful County go up, courtesy of the head-to-head rule.
Prediction: Fermanagh to join Cavan in Division 2.
This is the most competitive of the divisions with four counties still in the hunt for promotion.
Sligo need a draw while Laois, Leitrim and Wicklow need wins. Laois and Wicklow ought to win as they are playing London and Waterford respectively.
The key match is Sligo v Leitrim. In the event of Leitrim winning the four counties will be level on points and Laois and Leitrim will probably be promoted based on scoring difference.
But if Sligo draw or win, then Wicklow will probably be promoted based on the head-to-head rule.
Prediction:Sligo and Wicklow to be promoted.
Allianz Football League, Round 7
(All at 2pm unless stated)
Galway v Kerry, Pearse Stadium, 1.45, Live on TG4
Despite being understrength, Galway’s spring performances have been consistent. They have found new players, now have a decent bench, while Matthew Tierney has become a very influential player. Their defence is the best in Division One. Their Achilles Heel is their attack – they are the lowest scorers in the division.
Jack O’Connor’s cranky mood suggests he’s unhappy with Kerry’s performances.
With no big match on the horizon until the Munster final, they could do with another game. So, they will want to win – and win by a big enough margin to get to the final
Roscommon v Donegal, Dr Hyde Park, 1.45
It is hard to find a good word to say about Donegal. Watching them against Mayo, there was no plan, no system of play and, worst of all, no spirit. This is a bunch of players not playing for the manager or the County Board.
Roscommon need to win to make sure of their Division 1 status and they also have an outside chance of making the final.
Having conceded 1-2 in the first five minutes against Kerry, they showed admirable spirit to fight back. They probably should have had a last-gasp penalty, which would have given them a chance to draw the game.
Tyrone v Armagh, Healy Park, 1.45, Live on BBC iPlayer & GAAGO
A must-win for both. Against Monaghan, Tyrone scored an eye-watching 2-15. Conn Kilpatrick and Brian Kennedy are back to where they were in 2021, a top-class midfielder pairing, and the Canavan brothers supply the attacking X factor. Yet Tyrone looked ordinary last week until Monaghan had players sent off.
I don’t know what is going on with Armagh. If they play to their attacking strengths they can win, and secure their Division 1 status.
Mayo v Monaghan, Hastings MacHale Park, 1.45
Monaghan have perfected the art of escaping from relegation on the final day. But I think they have finally run out of road. They look a jaded outfit – devoid of any threat up front.
The more I watch Mayo the more I am impressed by them.
They are playing a brand of total football and have built huge momentum.
Clare v Limerick, Cusack Park
The two relegated teams meet. Clare are the lowest scorers and Limerick have conceded the most in the division, which explains both teams’ woes.
Dublin v Louth, Croke Park, TG4 App Live; TV Deferred
Hats off to Mickey Harte who has done a superb job with Louth, as they bid to go from Division 4 to Division 1 in the minimum time.
But I can’t see their defensive system working in Croke Park.
Dublin are gradually building that treasured momentum. Their performance against Meath was the best of the season.
Kildare v Meath, Newbridge
As explained elsewhere the losers here could end up in the 2023 Tailteann Cup.
Meath went like lambs to the slaughter against Dublin – and were duly slaughtered.
Kildare stumbled over a poor Limerick side. This is the last game in Newbridge before it is revamped, so the home side will want to leave with a win.
Cork v Derry, Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Cork are safe and Derry are promoted, but the visitors won’t let up against the Rebels.
Cavan v Fermanagh, Kingspan Breffni
Though they have been promoted, Cavan will want to erase the memory of a woeful performance against Antrim.
But Fermanagh have the greater need, a point will secure them promotion.
Westmeath v Tipperary, TEG Cusack Park
Westmeath’s inconsistency has been stunning. They are the highest scorers in the division, despite losing three games.
Offaly v Down, Glenisk O’Connor Park
Though both have four wins, Down cannot be promoted because they lost to promotion rivals Fermanagh.
Frankly, Offaly have surprised me. They need Cavan to do them a favour today, but I think Down will spoil their party.
Longford v Antrim, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford
Relegated Longford face an Antrim side who surprised everybody to end Cavan’s 100 per cent record in the division last week.
London v Laois, Ruislip, 1.0
Laois will be aiming to boost their scoring difference, but they are dependent on Leitrim beating Sligo to secure promotion.
Waterford v Wicklow, Fraher Field, Dungarvan, 1.0
Despite Waterford finally winning a game last weekend Wicklow will be aiming to win big in this one.
However, if Sligo draw or win, they will be promoted regardless of their scoring difference.
Sligo v Leitrim, Avant Money Pairc Seán MacDiarmada, 1.0
The best match I witnessed in all of last year was the Tailteann Cup quarter-final between these pair in Carrick. This will be another tight affair, but the home team should prevail.
'No excuses' | Co Clare TD says that ‘culture’ does not give people rights to own a horse
cabin fever | Kildare woman who fired shotgun after finding out husband was having affair sentenced
golden moment | Chris de Burgh recalls how he surprised Tina Turner with a special presentation on stage
'emotional' | Nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch arrested ‘for his own safety’ after cocaine binge
seeking support | Teacher sacked after setting up Onlyfans account raises just €37 in public appeal
bail conditions | Judge refuses to allow anti-refugee activist Graham Carey back on social media
hack attack | HSE says ‘no patient data involved’ in latest cyber-attack
Putin's war | Housing asylum seekers on boats is an ‘awful idea’, presenter says
'we love you' | Wife makes desperate appeal for missing Co Offaly man to come home
fled on foot | Man (20s) arrested following knife robbery in Dublin City Centre